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Family Medical Centers to open clinic at Rock Hill schools

Later this month, Family Medical Centers of Lawrence County will open a new clinic in the Rock Hill school district, the first school-based site in the county.

Michael Kingery, site manager and supervisor for the Ironton-Lawrence County CAO, who runs Family Medical Centers throughout the county, said clinics of this type have been pushed for by state and local governments and this will be the first for the local community.

He said the site, which opens at the Rock Hill board office on Aug. 17, is a partnership with the school district.
“This is a good time for it to happen,” he said of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “This will ensure there is a nurse practitioner on site.”

Kingery said the clinic will be open to both students and the community and will offer family practice, dental and behavioral health services.

“Behavioral health is so important,” Kingery said. “A lot of these children are growing up in single parent homes.”

He said buses will be available to take children to the clinic, which will help cut down on absences, with the site being available for things such as vaccinations and sports physicals.

He said, contrary to misconception, the clinic will not replace school nurses, who he said would act as “gatekeepers” for the clinic, and could help determine if a student needs to visit.

He said the clinic operates like any other health center and will bill through insurance, as well as work with Medicaid, which Kingery said many in the district use.

“And if someone isn’t able to pay, we use a sliding fee scale,” he said. “No one will be turned away.”

Kingery credited Becky Wilcox, a site manager and supervisor, as well as Rock Hill Superintendent David Hopper with working to launch the clinic.

“We’ve been working to develop a state-of-the-art clinic,” he said.

Kingery said, due to COVID-19, there would not be a grand opening at this time, but they hope to host one down the road.